Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: Fall in WV - Dogs, Deer, Cows and Bigfoot!  (Read 4742 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online kendenton

  • Member
  • Location: South Jersey
  • Posts: 643
  • Motorcycles: '15 Aprilia Caponord
Fall in WV - Dogs, Deer, Cows and Bigfoot!
« on: November 17, 2013, 09:26:38 AM »
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


This was my fourth trip to WV in autumn in 3 years.  It’s been a great way to finish up the “good” riding season, several days riding nearly endless twisties amongst great fall color.  Last year my buddy Dave (nearlyseventy) came with me, and this year he and I were joined by his friend Peter (gasgauge) from Canada.  Unlike pretty much every other trip I’ve done, this one had no real set plan.  Other than our meeting hotel on the first night we had no reservations and no set routes.

Speaking of routes, I had posted on STN asking for some “second tier” road suggestions in WV, and got some really great suggestions.  I have done the “usual suspects” several times (33, 250, 39, Mt Storm) and was looking to expand my horizons. Dave loaded his GPS up with everyone’s favorites and we would do our best to hit as many as we could.
IBA #37902

Online kendenton

  • Member
  • Location: South Jersey
  • Posts: 643
  • Motorcycles: '15 Aprilia Caponord
Re: Fall in WV - Dogs, Deer, Cows and Bigfoot!
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2013, 09:26:53 AM »
Wednesday, October 7th

Weather was not looking too great for the weekend, with a couple days of rain predicted, and it was getting off to a terrible start with 25mph winds gusting to 50mph on Wednesday.  I wasn’t too concerned about the wind other than having to deal with the Delaware Memorial Bridge to get out of NJ.

Remember the beginning of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” when Steve Martin is stuck in a meeting waiting to leave?  That was me at our monthly staff meeting, tapping my fingers on the desk while wearing my motorcycle boots under the table.  Blah blah blah, low hanging fruit, blah blah blah, leverage our core competencies, blah blah blah.

On the road at 3:05pm. Slow going getting out of NJ, lots of traffic and some road construction costing me about 15 minute. Wind was really blowing as I crossed NJ, and my short ride on the NJ Turnpike had me getting knocked around quite a bit.  The DMB had a 25-mph speed limit due to the “severe wind warning” so I braced for the worst as I started up the span.

Fortunately I needn’t have worried.  Like every other time I’ve crossed that bridge it was utterly serene once I was on the span.  Descending into DE the wind picked up considerably again, and I braced for some windy slab.  About 20 miles later I exited I-95 for my usual back road route to western MD.

I like crossing the Susquehanna river on the Conowingo Dam, so I headed out 274 to 273 and onto 1 for the dam.  As the river came into view, I noticed that the wind had really kicked up the water, forming whitecaps and making waves crash into the dam.  No sooner did I start across when a large wave broke over the dam and soaked me with spray.  Didn’t expect that today.

Followed 851 west for the most part, except for some GPS-induced little side roads.  I had hoped to arrive in Williamsport, MD to meet Dave and Peter before it got dark so I didn’t have much time to dawdle.    Quick run down US15 took me to Thurmont and a very nice ride on 77 through Catoctin Mountain Park.  66 down to I-70 for a few minutes, then onto US11 and exited for the hotel right around 7:05 with darkness just descending.

Dave came out to greet me, Peter was dead asleep in his clothes in the room.  He was up on the road at 7am for the ride down from Toronto, and it had taken it’s toll.  The only restaurant within walking distance was the Waffle House, which was quickly dismissed as an option.  We suited up for a quick ride to the center of town and had a good dinner (and great desserts) at Ruby Tuesday’s (the same one Frank and I ate at on the way to Denny’s).  We put together something of a plan for the next day, and rode back to the hotel.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login
IBA #37902

Online kendenton

  • Member
  • Location: South Jersey
  • Posts: 643
  • Motorcycles: '15 Aprilia Caponord
Re: Fall in WV - Dogs, Deer, Cows and Bigfoot!
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2013, 09:27:28 AM »
Friday, October 9th

Breakfast was at French's, the local greasy-spoon diner, which was actually pretty good. Overheard an interesting conversation with one of the customers, a young lady who was against the new H1N1 vaccine because of the mercury and antifreeze the government is putting in it.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Peter at French's (Dave's Photo)

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Simple place

Our main goal for today was the New River Gorge Bridge. The roads were wet from last night's rain, but the forecast was looking good for the rest of the day. We immediately climbed out of Marlinton on 39 and headed west through the Monongahela National Forest. Most of the road isn't very twisty, but it is very isolated and quite pretty. Just miles and miles of forest, very little traffic and no development.

Since neither Dave nor Peter had been to the Glade Creek Grist Mill before I planned a detour to Babcock State Park on the way to the bridge. We took 39/55 to 20 south, then 60 West. At one point we passed a car carrier full of Cadillac Allante's. How odd is that?

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Glade Creek Grist Mill and bikes

Babcock State Park was pretty empty, just us and one or two other folks. We walked around to get pictures, and were plagued by swarms of flying bugs. I had to photoshop some of the pics because most of them had spots due to bugs on the lens. The day was definitely getting hotter, which is quite a contrast to when I was there in 2007 and couldn't take off my heated jacket because I would start shaking from the cold.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Glade Creek Grist Mill in Autumn

As we were readying to leave we got approached by an older gentleman offering us advice about more good riding in the area. He suggested heading down near the Bluestone Dam, but we felt that was farther south than we wanted to go. We had seen signs for an overlook on the way into the park, so we headed there next. What a great little road leading to the overlook! We were the only people in the park, and the fall color was spectacular as we rode through the woods.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Nice guy offering Dave some road suggestions

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Me, Dave and Peter at the Babcock State Park overlook

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

On the way back from the overlook I wanted to get some action shots, but it turned out to be a lost cause. There was hardly any light in the forested interior of the park, so I was working with 1/30th of a second or so. I also made the mistake of shooting from a culvert lower than the road, which put my lens right in line with the bike's headlights - too overpowering.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Forgive this terrible pic

After Babcock it was off to the bridge. Once we finally found the visitor's center it was getting really hot out. We locked our gear to the bikes and hiked down the stairs to the lower viewing platform.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Smilin' Dave

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Dave, me and Peter at the New River Gorge Bridge

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

We'd be heading over that bridge soon enough

While half the reason we were at the bridge was to "see the bridge", the more fun reason was to ride 82 down under the bridge. We've had reports of the road being "no big deal, busses do it" to "not suitable for bikes, no fun at all". With a mixture of trepidation and excitement we started our downward journey.

The roads was a lot of fun, very tight and twisting, but not a fast road at all. Thankfully most of it is one-way so the narrowness isn't a big issue. The pavement was pretty crappy, but still pavement. There were a couple super-tight zero-degree hairpins, which the guys handled just fine. I remarked to them that since they handled the hairpins on 82 OK, the Alps would not present any problems. The road was kind of reminiscent of some of the tighter Alps passes I road this summer, though the Alps had nearly perfect pavement.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Looking up at the bridge

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Fun gravel loop to the boat launch

We stopped for some pictures down at the bottom, the rode up the other side and grabbed a quick lunch at Subway in Fayetteville. By now the temperatures were in the 80's and we were cooking.

After lunch we rode back over the bridge, which despite the windy weather was pretty calm. From there we took 60 West again, which was really spectacular once you passed Hawk's Nest State Park. At 16 we hooked North, and continued on to the small town of Clay, where we picked up a small backroad that eventually took us East back to the intersection of 19 and 82. Dundon-Widen Road perhaps? What a hoot! Every kind of turn imaginable, terrific views, no traffic, very few houses, couple more dogs, just a lot of fun. I think Peter enjoyed that road the most so far.

While the guys were gassing up (I had about 60 miles yet to go) someone told us that a bad storm was approaching and would arrive in about an hour. We had a choice at this point - ride straight down 19 to Summersville, or do a loop on 82/20/55 to get us there. Since the day had gone so well so far, we chose the longer loop and took our chances with the weather.

We weren't too far along on 82 when I had an incident with a big stick in the road. For full details see this post: http://www.sport-touring.net/forums/index.php/topic,45442.0.html

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Grrr.

The rest of the loop back to Summersville was not great. Traffic was an issue for the first time this trip, so we just settled in for a slow ride to the hotel. I'm pretty sure my incident didn't help my mood either.

We tried the Super8 in Summersville first, as there was an Appleby's right next door - perfect for drinking with no need to ride. Only smoking rooms left, so we had to settle for the Sleep Inn across the (very busy) street. Got cleaned up and we walked over to dinner, and as soon as we sat down at the bar the rain started coming down hard outside. We discussed my incident over some beers, and watched the Yankees beat up on the Twins in the ALDS. We lingered over dinner waiting for the rain to stop, and eventually walked back to the hotel.

Weather for the next day didn't look great, but our only plan was to end up around western Maryland so we were pretty flexible.
IBA #37902

Online kendenton

  • Member
  • Location: South Jersey
  • Posts: 643
  • Motorcycles: '15 Aprilia Caponord
Re: Fall in WV - Dogs, Deer, Cows and Bigfoot!
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2013, 09:28:29 AM »
Saturday, October 10th

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Woke up to heavy rain, no surprise. Forecast called for clearing later in the morning, so we had a long breakfast and hung out in the hotel lobby for a long while. Eventually the rain started to slow so we geared up and headed out. First up we wanted to find a sign for the town just north of Summersville, Hookersville. Unfortunately, at least from US19, there was no exit or even any sign hinting at it.

We peeled off 19 onto Old 19/40 for the ride north to 15. This turned out to be a nice little road, but the wet roads kept the pace down. By the time we reached the dam at Sutton the rain had stopped and the sun was coming out.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Sutton Dam

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Dave and Peter

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Quick composite

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

The view downstream

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Oh, maybe we shouldn't be up here

As the weather was steadily improving we hung out at the dam for a while taking pictures and shedding layers of insulation Dave also took this opportunity to really try to figure out how to get all 3 of us connected with the Q2's. A can talk to B, and A can talk to C, but B can't talk to C, etc. After a lot of button pushing we kinda got it to work.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

"While holding the MIC button, press the CTL button for 12.1 seconds then click your heels 3 times...."

Since the weather had improved so much we opted to find more STN-suggested twisty roads on our way up to Maryland. Just north of Sutton he hooked up with 15 East, which took us to 20 North. What a great, great section of roads these were! Again we were somewhat tempered by the wet roads (and debris), but it was still a great ride. Passed a couple bikes coming the other way, which stood out because we really hadn't seen any all trip. One guy was on a black Aprilia Dorsoduro, first one I've seen in the wild.

Stopped for lunch in Buckhannon at the Ole Mill Restaurant, which was OK. Passed by a classic looking Dairy Queen on the way, so I insisted we walk back there for some dessert - I did not receive any objections.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

The Ole Mill

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Classic DQ

Next goal for the day was something called the "Stemple Loop", as suggested by STN. We had a pleasant ride up 119 to Philippi where we came across a very cool double-width covered bridge. We were quite suprisesd to see a covered bridge still in use on such a busy road. Very cool!

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Philippi covered bridge

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

After Philippi we took 38 E to the bottom of where we thought the Stemple Loop was. My GPS suggested a little road coming off 38 going north toward 72, and that turned out to be spectacular. The first section had fantastic views of the mountains, covered in full fall foliage. The second section descended quite steeply down into the forest, surrounded on all sides by the rich reds, oranges and yellows of the leaves. Really just wonderful. Eventually put us on 72 right around the burg of Auvil.

I don't think we actually did the Stemple loop we had planned, but we did find ourselves on some great roads between 38 and 50. We were on Stemple Ridge Rd, and I think Location Rd for a bit.. We stopped for a while to try to get some action shots, but they just came out OK, not great.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Gorgeous

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

This sure isn't Toronto

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Dave

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Peter on Stemple Ridge Rd near Scales Rd

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Peter on Stemple Ridge Rd near Scales Rd

After trying in vain to figure out how to navigate the planned Stemple Loop, we gave up and set our sights on Mt Storm Rd. We took 219 south (always a pleasure) to 93 East and over to Mt. Storm Rd. 93 is a strangle little connector road, very flat and straight in contrast to most of West Virginia. I was interested in seeing the power plant again, as that stood out in my memory from my trip to Indy last year. Seemed to be a lot more windmills in the area this time around.

When we go to Mt Storm Rd (42), I sent the boys on ahead as I was getting pretty tired by now, and just wanted to take it easy going down the mountain. I've done the road several times before and just wasn't in the zone. Both Peter and Dave really enjoyed it, as it has tighter turns than most of the sweepers we'd been on all day.

From the bottom we pretty much made a beeline to Cumberland, MD to find a hotel for the night. Ended up at a Red Roof Inn for $90/night(!) that was the only place in town with rooms available. Walked to dinner and then over to Applebees for drinks and bullshitting. Tomorrow would be just riding back home to NJ.
IBA #37902

Offline Formerly Known as Bigfoot

  • Member
  • Location: Shenandoah Valley nestled in the mountains
  • Posts: 554
  • Motorcycles: 04 Yamaha RSV
Re: Fall in WV - Dogs, Deer, Cows and Bigfoot!
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2013, 04:49:20 PM »
I remember youse guys.  Looked like a great trip.  I've been in WV several times lately as well. 
If Stupid Could Fly you'd be a Jet.

Offline Formerly Known as Bigfoot

  • Member
  • Location: Shenandoah Valley nestled in the mountains
  • Posts: 554
  • Motorcycles: 04 Yamaha RSV
Re: Fall in WV - Dogs, Deer, Cows and Bigfoot!
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2013, 04:50:42 PM »
That's an old Streetpilot.  Can you still get updates for it?
If Stupid Could Fly you'd be a Jet.

Online kendenton

  • Member
  • Location: South Jersey
  • Posts: 643
  • Motorcycles: '15 Aprilia Caponord
Re: Fall in WV - Dogs, Deer, Cows and Bigfoot!
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2013, 09:09:57 AM »
That's an old Streetpilot.  Can you still get updates for it?

I think I had 2011 maps on it, but it has since died (screen cover cracked away again).
IBA #37902

Offline kneescrubber

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: Neither here nor there
  • Posts: 10476
  • Nothing beats good line of sight
  • Motorcycles: 1999 VFR
Re: Fall in WV - Dogs, Deer, Cows and Bigfoot!
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2013, 06:03:07 PM »
visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Glade Creek Grist Mill in Autumn


I love this shot. :inlove: Mind if I use as a desktop pic for a while?
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Online doc4216

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: Alameda
  • Posts: 990
  • Motorcycles: Roxy....R1200RS
Re: Fall in WV - Dogs, Deer, Cows and Bigfoot!
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2013, 06:34:00 PM »
Great RR! I absolutely love the pics. I grew up in Western Pa. so this makes me feel like home! Every time I have gone home in the last 12 years, I have gone over the NRG bridge and through Summersville (never speed around there) and I can honestly say WV is one of my favorite states to drive through! My old WeeStrom did okay but can't wait to take my Tiger Roadie home in the spring!  ;D

A straight road never made a skilled rider.

Offline demenshea

  • Member
  • Location: Sacto, CA
  • Posts: 14
    • ride like a girl
  • Motorcycles: BMW R1200R, Suzuki Bandit 1250
Re: Fall in WV - Dogs, Deer, Cows and Bigfoot!
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2013, 09:58:11 AM »
Stunning fall photos!  Love the old Dairy Queen sign too.  I would love to get out there in the Autumn and see this country for myself.  JUST DO IT...right?
“Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment." Papa-Ken

Online kendenton

  • Member
  • Location: South Jersey
  • Posts: 643
  • Motorcycles: '15 Aprilia Caponord
Re: Fall in WV - Dogs, Deer, Cows and Bigfoot!
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2013, 10:51:31 AM »
visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Glade Creek Grist Mill in Autumn


I love this shot. :inlove: Mind if I use as a desktop pic for a while?


Be my guest  :)
IBA #37902

Offline Mac

  • Member
  • Location: Dallas Tx
  • Posts: 1225
  • Just got out of prison
  • Motorcycles: none
Re: Fall in WV - Dogs, Deer, Cows and Bigfoot!
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2013, 11:17:12 AM »
Great Pics.
May I mambo dogface to the banana patch?

Offline SWriverstone

  • Member
  • Location: Eugene, OR
  • Posts: 131
  • The Road Cubist
  • Motorcycles: DL650 Wee-Strom
Re: Fall in WV - Dogs, Deer, Cows and Bigfoot!
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2013, 08:35:59 AM »
Delayed post (I just got hip to STO)...great pics as always Ken! You guys covered some nice territory down around Summersville that I haven't even ridden yet. (That's the problem with West Virginia---there are so many good roads in the state that it'll take years to get to them all.)

I actually liked that 1/30 low-angle shot with the headlights---something different!  :thumbsup: I'm excited to ride that part of the state more at the Spring Meet. (And if I'm incredibly lucky, I might even be able to get away for a weekend of advance scouting...)

Scott
Riding a rashed-up bike is strangely liberating.

Offline R Doug

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: Clemmons, NC
  • Posts: 6124
  • Where there is Danger, there is Doug
Re: Fall in WV - Dogs, Deer, Cows and Bigfoot!
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2013, 08:10:49 PM »
I've never read this report before.  Is this a repost from "net" or newly posted here?  When did Peter switch bikes from a K to an R?
Only motorcycle riders know why a dog sticks its head out of a car window.

Online kendenton

  • Member
  • Location: South Jersey
  • Posts: 643
  • Motorcycles: '15 Aprilia Caponord
Re: Fall in WV - Dogs, Deer, Cows and Bigfoot!
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2013, 08:19:37 PM »
I've never read this report before.  Is this a repost from "net" or newly posted here?  When did Peter switch bikes from a K to an R?

It's a repost from '.net'  ;)  Peter actually switched TO the K from the R, because he crashed the R on the way back from this trip.
IBA #37902